Data breaches are slowly becoming more and more prevalent for Milford rental property owners, which should be a cause for concern. When you lease a property, you handle sensitive personal data from your tenants, which may find its way into the hands of identity thieves unless handled correctly. To protect your tenant’s sensitive information in today’s digitally connected world, you either need advanced IT skills or you’ll need to consider working with a property management company that does. In any way, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your tenant’s personal information stays safe and secure.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Firewalls
Mainly, the more random your passwords are, the less likely they’ll be hacked. Do not use simple passwords that include words or easy-to-find number sequences (like a phone number). Rather, build strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Avoid accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, such as those normally spotted in coffee shops and libraries. Another important security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall can build a strong barrier between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you don’t know how to install one, the best idea is to get help from an IT professional.
2. Prevent Malware
Together with a firewall, any computer you use to access tenant data needs to have anti-malware software installed on it. Anti-malware software can help keep hackers and identity thieves from obtaining the information they shouldn’t get if they get past your firewall. Hackers will try to bypass your firewall by sending you links that will download malware onto your hard drive when you click on them. You do not even realize you did that. Once installed, malware can be extremely difficult to remove and often requires a professional’s support.
3. Take Privacy Seriously
You may need your tenant’s personal data for good reasons, so you need to build a secure system to guarantee that you don’t accidentally violate their privacy. If possible, avoid displaying their social security numbers or credit card information in areas that are easily accessible. Be very watchful with any documents that may include your tenant’s personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, and shred any document you no longer need directly – never throw documents in the trash. Even a minor act of negligence could make you accountable for serious legal liabilities, especially if the privacy breach can be traced back to your information handling practices.
4. Call the Experts
With so much depending on your capacity to protect your tenant’s sensitive information, it may be safer and more practical to approach professionals for help. Even though you can monitor and manage all of your own security measures, you may find it clearly more cost-effective to hire a property management company to take care of all of the essential services you need. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the capability to deliver high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes beyond even the measures mentioned in this article, guaranteeing that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and offering you total peace of mind.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.